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So, I see over and over again comments about how 40K is supposed to be about "narrative" gaming and campaigning. Generally, I've only played pick-up games and the occasional tournament. So my question for you guys then, if your group does narrative gaming, how do you do it? :scratchhead:

*Do you and your opponent create a new mission on the fly?
*Does your group have a recognized "game master" or something similar?
*How do you prevent people from just making up stupid shit? Like, "I get orbital bombardment for free." or "Because I have control of the manufacturing on this planet, I get an extra Riptide." or whatever nonsense.
*Does making a narrative game limit people from bringing super cheesy lists? And if so, how?
 

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Usually in our group, someone will write the story right through. The games will then fill in the blanks of who is who as the story progresses. For example it could be pre-determined that one side will have X-Facility at game six, and the winner of game 4 is the deciding factor for who.

It's a matter of planning if you want to do it this way where the games follow a story. Having the games create the story is more challenging, as you either need to be able to agree with your opponent where each game will go, or have a completely impartial Games Master who will decide for everyone else.

Personally I recommend the first option, particularly if you're new to this.
 

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I avoid people making up stupid things by not gaming with people who make up stupid things.

Narrative gaming doesn't impact the cheesiness of the lists because the point of playing, for us, is the story not winning.

One of my favourite narrative games had was every Tyranid model my opponent owned, with the special rule that destroyed/fled units re-entered at full strength next turn vs. an IG platoon inside a small fort; the sides are vastly unfair, but it made it feel like a real last stand.
 

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The BRB mentions coming up with a narrative after each game based on the results. I believe the example was a Necron Monolith was destroyed in the last game so in the next game, both sides are trying to get the Monolith power matrix. Game mission is The Relic and the Necron army cannot use Monoliths. I've also played games where if player 1 won, the next game would take place with player 1 deploying in player 2's deployment zone from the first game and forcing the fight farther into player 2's area.
 

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Playing 40k with armies that are true to the traditional background helps, or similar to the forces used in certain events or books. Overall, just playing the game with combat and interesting lists spawns a narrative - Belial smashing his way through a score of Dire Avengers to reach the Farseer, or a depleted squad of Tacticals making a desperate attack on an Ork Battlewagon and being rescued by the Ravenwing or something. Playing with armies that aren't just 3 Heldrakes/6x5 Noise Marines with Blastmaster/Havocs with Autocannons or O'mmortal/2x Riptide/1x Crisis/Fire Warriors/Missilesides results in games containing tonnes of little stories of drama and coolness. 5 Deathwing Knights mulching through 75 Orks over the course of an Apocalypse game. It also helps if you don't completely follow RAW - if there's a rule that's killing the immersion for you, change it. Make up new rules to replace bad ones. Makes the game flow better, leaving you to focus on all the little stories going on.
 

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Adjusting the standard missions to your armies/situation is a good shout, or just think about something cool you'd like to do and adjust the objectives around that. I've played capture the flag games, protect the VIP, siege the fortress, bridge the river and we're hopefully playing an armored convoy game soon. Having non-standard objectives means lists need to be designed to function accordingly, so less cheese.

Your best bet is to design a mission (or series of) and run it past your opponent, then tweak it with changes you both agree on.
 

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I avoid people making up stupid things by not gaming with people who make up stupid things.

Narrative gaming doesn't impact the cheesiness of the lists because the point of playing, for us, is the story not winning.

One of my favourite narrative games had was every Tyranid model my opponent owned, with the special rule that destroyed/fled units re-entered at full strength next turn vs. an IG platoon inside a small fort; the sides are vastly unfair, but it made it feel like a real last stand.
Although that sounds like it's based somewhat on the film version of "Starship Troopers", it puts me in mind of an old White Dwarf Battle Report that pitted Praetorian Guard against a horde of Orks.
It was in Issue 222 and was called "Last Stand at Glazer's Creek" and featured a specially written Scenario and Rules.
Which in itself was a much simplified update of the Warhammer Campaign Pack "Bloodbath at Orc's Drift".

Clearly both the GW products were inspired by the film "Zulu".
 

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Although that sounds like it's based somewhat on the film version of "Starship Troopers", it puts me in mind of an old White Dwarf Battle Report that pitted Praetorian Guard against a horde of Orks.
It was in Issue 222 and was called "Last Stand at Glazer's Creek" and featured a specially written Scenario and Rules.
Which in itself was a much simplified update of the Warhammer Campaign Pack "Bloodbath at Orc's Drift".

Clearly both the GW products were inspired by the film "Zulu".
We actually based it on Zulu.
 

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Basing home made missions on classic action scenes from films is an excellent method of "Forging the Narrative".

One of the bonuses being that you both know intrinsically how it is meant to play out, because you've seen it a million times on screen.
As opposed to when you write a Scenario and have a vision of how it should play and then your opponent sees it completely differently.
 

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I haven't played much yet but I always thought it would be fun to put together a campaign, with narrative. Meaning: 10, 15, 20, 30, whatever missions, individual scenarios that are all different, or maybe slightly varied. Such as an evacuation mission where you must protect a column of slow moving transports from one end of the board to the other while your opponent could stream hordes of enemies at them with limits lessening each turn. (so it gets more difficult as you progress). Sounds like it would be complex and take forever to write each mission as I type this out, but it could be a cool idea. And of course, the campaign would be 100% story driven.

Also, I REALLY like the Zulu idea. That is exactly the sort of mission I was imagining.
 

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There are a number of ways to run narrative campaigns. Follow this link for a well run fantasy campaign. Although the thread is mostly back story and such for the campaign, there are a number of battle reports interspersed. Note that often these battles are not balanced or fair. They are part of the narrative and the goals of one side or the other is different and the outcomes can have permanent effects on the campaign (destroying unique characters/units, reducing supply lines, damaging an army so that is takes that damage into the next fight, etc.)

This is just one style of narrative campaign and is a highly evolved and involved one.

If you are just wanting to "get your feet wet" and play with the ideas of narrative games. Agree to a "mini-campaign" with one of your regular opponents...3 games choose several different missions/game styles and then weave the missions into a story...perhaps giving a small advantage from one game to the next.

For example, say a 500pt "skirmish", a 1250 pt engagement, leading to a 2500pt battle.

The skirmish could be the two objective mission representing two scouting units meet while gathering information. If there is a winner, that person will get to play with a hidden list the next mission, while the loser plays with an open list. The 1250 pt game could be an escalation game with one player bringing a Super Heavy and the other a normal force. This represents once force ambushing reinforcements for the main battle. If the SH survives that player can use it in the main battle which will be an escalation fight, otherwise he cannot and the main battle is simply a "standard" 2500 pt game.

This would give you a string of fights against another player with several different game types and you have built a basic story around the missions. Nothing fancy.
 
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